Bernie Sanders to Biden and Manchin: ‘No reconciliation bill, no deal’
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is warning President Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that he will not support a bipartisan infrastructure bill that does not include a provision for reconciliation.
“Let me be clear: There will not be a bipartisan infrastructure deal without a reconciliation bill that substantially improves the lives of working families and combats the existential threat of climate change,” Sanders said in a tweet on Sunday afternoon. “No reconciliation bill, no deal. We need transformative change NOW.”
The demand from Sanders comes a day after Biden walked back remarks on Thursday suggesting he would only support signing a bipartisan bill if a larger reconciliation package was also passed.
“At a press conference after announcing the bipartisan agreement, I indicated that I would refuse to sign the infrastructure bill if it was sent to me without my Families Plan and other priorities, including clean energy,” Biden in a statement on Saturday afternoon before saying his comments “also created the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to, which was certainly not my intent.”
On Sunday morning, several Republican senators said they accepted Biden’s clarification and indicated they trusted the president to stick to his word.
“I recognize that he and his Democratic colleagues want more than that, they want other legislation as well,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said. “And we Republicans are saying absolutely no, we will not support a bill which is to be passed with a massive tax increase, and at the same time trillions of dollars in new spending. That is not something we will support.”
Manchin, a moderate who represents a critical swing vote within the Democratic caucus and helped broker the deal between the White House and Senate Democrats, defended his position in Congress on Sunday.
“It’s the way I’ve basically been in public life, and I’m not changing. I’m sorry that this 50/50 worked out and people were unhappy with it, but it is what it is. And if they think that I’m going to change and be something that I’m not, I won’t. And I’ve been very clear,” Manchin said.
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